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Boosting productivity via innovation and adoption of new technologies : any role for labor market institutions?

  • Scarpetta, Stefano
  • Tressel, Thierry

This paper presents empirical evidence on the determinants of industry-level multifactor productivity growth. It focus on traditional factors, including the process of technological catch up, human capital and R&D as well as institutional factors affecting labor adjustment costs. The link between R&D activity and productivity also depends on technological characteristics of the industries : while there is no evidence of R&D boosting productivity in low-tech industries, the effect is strong in high-tech industries, but the technology leaders tend to enjoy higher returns on R&D expenditure compared with followers. There is also evidence in the data that high labor adjustment costs (proxied by the strictness of employment protection legislation) can have a strong negative impact on productivity. In particular, when institutional settings do not allow wages or internal training to offset high hiring and firing costs, then the latter reduce incentives for innovation and adoption of new technologies, and lead to lower productivity performance.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 29144.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:29144
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